Stress can have damaging effects on the body and lead to many health problems. But when one starts making healthy food choices, it can really help in coping with the harmful physiological changes made due to it. Instead of eating the entire tub of ice cream when you are stressed, one should make healthy food choices. The calming properties of the healthful foods help in stress management owing to the strong relation between the brain blood and brain health.
Read on to learn about the healthy foods that will help you in reducing stress.
The way the food makes you feel is as important as their nutrient profile. A warm cup of tea or any other warm drink has a relaxing effect on the body, increasing the secretion of feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine. Studies have also shown that drinking chamomile tea also reduces anxiety by rewiring the body’s stress response.
Drinking black tea also helps in recovering from the stressful situations. It has been reported that tea drinkers stay calm and have lower levels of stress hormones cortisol helping people to deal with tough situations.
Deserts are not a good option to have when you are stressed, but this is an exception. Though it may not satisfy your taste buds, it is really effective in providing relief from stress at the molecular level. Consuming dark chocolate has a chemical impact and emotional impact on the stress levels. It is also rich in antioxidants, even 1.5 ounces of the chocolate everyday helps in lowering the stress hormone levels. Also avoid overindulging in dark chocolates as the calories can add up quite quickly. And, the cocoa present in it also improves mood and cognitive function.
Consuming right carbs can act as great stress busters. After eating carbohydrates, the serotonin levels increase, which reduces stress and boosts mood. The higher levels of serotonin also improves your concentration and makes you more productive. But it is very important to pick the right carbs to make most of them as chips, cookies and other refined carbs have been linked with stress, depression, anxiety and inflammation. Daily intake of this strains heart health and increases blood pressure. While complex carbs are really helpful, they take time to digest and keep the sugar levels stable. So you should include brown rice, oats, quinoa, to get your dose of complex carbs everyday.
This is one of the easiest ways to ease stress. Being hydrated during stressful times, helps the body to handle tough situations. Even mild dehydration can reduce the levels of cortisol, the chemical associated with stress. So you need to include enough water in your diet to make your body handle stress easily. Giving your body the required amount of fluids will also impact how your body acts in stressful situations and deal with everyday issues.
Vitamin C–Rich Fruits
This vitamin helps in keeping the stress at bay. People who consume 3,000 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C have lesser cortisol levels in the body. Therefore, you should have citrus fruits such as strawberries, grapefruit and more to keep the levels of vitamin C high. It wards off the scurvy and makes a better choice than unhealthy snacking.
There is the main reason why your mother made you drink milk. Calcium not only makes your skeleton strong, but also boosts your mood. Even a research on Korean women showed that individuals with least calcium were the most depressed. That is why you should include calcium in your diet to relax your muscles and keep the mood stable. Medical professionals also say milk is very important for women as it eases the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
These are some of the foods that will help you in keeping the stress levels low. But it is equally important to have a balanced diet to keep all the nutrients balanced. And including them will help you curb the stress hormones and return to normal cortisol levels quickly. So make a daily or weekly routine to prepare healthy food to improve your diet, protect yourself from various diseases and reduce the stress levels.